In the hours since NFL icon John Madden passed away there's been a lot of debate and discussion (much of it very heated and emotionally charged) over Madden's thoughts on concussions.
But a video posted on Twitter shows that Madden was clearly far more progressive on the issue than his contemporaries. Back in 1993, Madden asserted during a game that teams should be way more cautious with players who suffer concussions.
"I think if a guy has a concussion or thinks he has a concussion he shouldn't play anymore. I don't agree with that," Madden said during a Vikings game in 1993. "You know how in boxing people say it's 'archaic,' but if a fighter gets knocked out he can't fight for another month. And sometimes in football we say 'Oh he has a slight concussion he'll be right back in.' I don't know that I ever agreed with that."
Fans who found the video were stunned to see how forward-thinking Madden at a time when concussions were not taken seriously at all. Tons of fans have flocked to Twitter, sharing his words of wisdom and applauding him for it:
The criticism of John Madden largely stemmed from the Madden NFL video game series growing interest in the game causing increased concussion rates. And there may be a debate worth having over whether the Madden NFL video game series has been a positive or a negative overall.
But the assertion that Madden enabled or disregarded concussions as a problem is plainly false.
John Madden might be more influential on American football than legends like Tom Brady, Jerry Rice or even Vince Lombardi. While he wasn't perfect, he certainly wasn't the problematic guy some want to make him out to be.
It would be interesting to see if there are any other issues that Madden was way ahead of his time on.